U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after Eli Lilly announced it would be selling a less expensive, generic version of its rapid-acting insulin, Humalog.
The announcement comes amid rising demand for pharmaceutical companies in the United States to lower prescription medication prices.
While noting there are "numerous ideas" on the table, including a January rebate reform proposal, "for people with diabetes, a lower-priced insulin can serve as a bridge that addresses gaps in the system until a more sustainable model is achieved", he adds.
The soaring cost of insulin has been the focus of recent campaigns that highlight how patients struggle to afford the medicine they need to live.
Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado tweeted that she was "glad to see steps are being taken by some to reduce the cost of insulin, but we still have a long way to go to make it truly affordable for all", calling the increase in insulin pricing "unfathomable". "We hope our announcement is a catalyst for positive change across the USA health-care system".
A cheaper version of Eli Lilly's most popular insulin drug, Humalog, is being introduced by the drug maker. A five-pack of the insulin pens will be $265.20. Its discoverers sold it for a dollar.
"We're eager to bring forward a low-cost, rapid-acting insulin", said Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO David A. Ricks.
People who do have health insurance likely pay an amount that's less than the full list price of Humalog.
In other Eli Lilly And Co news, SVP Myles O'neill sold 25,000 shares of the firm's stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 10th. In the two years since that launch, the net price per prescription for the class of basal insulins in the US has decreased by approximately 30 percent.
The goal of the authorized generic is to offer those patients, as well as those who are uninsured, a lower list price at the pharmacy counter.
Two U.S. senators last month launched an investigation into rising insulin prices, writing to Lilly and two other leading manufacturers, asking them why the cost of the almost 100-year-old medication had rapidly risen.
Humalog and Insulin Lispro are man-made fast-acting insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.